The Effect of Various Levels of Chromium on Growth, Carcass, Immunity, Blood, Liver enzymes, Cecal Microbiota, Sensory Quality, and Fatty Acid Profile Traits in Broiler Chicks

Document Type : Original Paper


Department of Animal Science, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran


This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of three levels of chromium (Cr) (0, 700, and 1400 µg/kg of diet) on growth performance, carcass characteristics, immunity, blood parameters, cecal microbial flora, meat taste, and fatty acid profile of Arbor Acres commercial broilers. 120 one-day-old male chicks with four replicates and 10 chicks per replicate were used in a completely randomized design for 42 days. The results of the experiment showed that the lowest cost per kg of live chicken and the best European production index, without statistically significant difference, was demonstrated in Cr700. The growth performance in the whole period (1-42d) was not affected by Cr (P > 0.05). The amount of antibody titer against Newcastle virus, influenza, and sheep red blood cells was affected by experimental treatments (P < 0.05). The data showed that the percentage of saturated fatty acids such as myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid decreased and the amount of unsaturated fatty acids increased in Cr700 and Cr1400 compared to the control group. The fat content, juiciness, color, chewing ability, elasticity, oral sensation, and general acceptance were affected by using Cr (P < 0.05). Also, the data showed an improvement in cecal microbial flora in broilers fed Cr. In conclusion, it is recommended to feed 700 µg/kg Cr Arbor Acres farming.


Ajayi OB & Odutuga A. 2004. Effect of low‐zinc status and essential fatty acids deficiency on the activities of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase in liver and serum of albino rats. Food/Nahrung, 48(2): 88-90. DOI: 10.1002/food.200300316
Anandhi M, Mathivanan R, Viswanathan K & Mohan B. 2006. Dietary inclusion of organic chromium on production and carcass characteristics of broilers. International Journal of Poultry Science. 5(9): 880-884.
Bahrami A, Moeini MM, Ghazi SH & Targhibi MR. 2012. The effect of different levels of organic and inorganic chromium supplementation on immune function of broiler chicken under heat-stress conditions. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 21(2): 209-215.  DOI: 10.3382/japr.2010-00275
Bao YM, Choct M, Iji PA & Bruerton K. 2010. The digestibility of organic trace minerals along the small intestine in broiler chickens. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 23(1): 90-97.  DOI: 10.5713/ajas.2010.90185
 Bartlett JR & Smith MO. 2003. Effects of different levels of zinc on the performance and immunocompetence of broilers under heat stress. Poultry Science, 82(10):1580-1588.  DOI: 10.1093/ps/82.10.1580
Baston O & Barna O. 2010. Raw Chicken Leg And Breast Sensory Evaluation. Annals Food Science and Technology, 11(1): 25-30.
Bhagat J, Ahmed KA, Tyagi P, Saxena M & Saxena VK. 2008. Effects of supplemental chromium on interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) mRNA expression in response to Newcastle disease vaccine in broiler chicken. Research in Veterinary Science, 85(1): 46-51.  DOI: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2007.08.003
Borgs P & Mallard BA. 1998. Immune-endocrine interactions in agricultural species: Chromium and its effect on health and performance. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 15(5): 431-438. DOI: 10.1016/S0739-7240(98)00018-6
Bowker B & Zhuang H. 2015. Relationship between water-holding capacity and protein denaturation in broiler breast meat. Poultry Science, 94(7): 1657-1664. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pev120
Brooks MA, Grimes JL, Lloyd KE, Krafka K, Lamptey A & Spears JW. 2016. Chromium propionate in broilers: effect on insulin sensitivity. Poultry Science 95(5):1096– 1104. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pew018
Chen G, Gao Z, Chu W, Cao Z, Li C & Zhao H. 2018. Effects of chromium picolinate on fat deposition, activity and genetic expression of lipid metabolism-related enzymes in 21day old Ross broilers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 31(4): 569- 575. DOI: 10.5713/ajas.17.0289
Dalólio FS, Albino LFT, Fireman AKBAT, Burin Júnior AM, Busanello M, Calderano AA, Ribeiro Júnior V & Rostagno HS. 2021. Effect of chromium-methionine supplementation on meat quality of broilers reared under heat stress. Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, 73: 995-999. DOI: 10.1590/1678-4162-12235
Dibaji SM, Seidavi A, Asadpour L, Moreira da & Silva F. 2014. Effect of a synbiotic on the intestinal microflora of chickens. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 23(1): 1-6. DOI: 10.3382/japr.2012-00709
Duncan DB. 1955. Multiple range and multiple F tests. Biometrics, 11(1): 1-42.
Ebrahimnazhad Y & Ghanbari S. 2014. The effect of dietary chromium supplementation on blood biochemical parameters of broiler chicks. Greener Journals of Biological Sciences, 4(3): 98-102.
Ebrahimzadeh S.K, Farhoomand P & Noori K. 2012. Immune response of broiler chickens fed diets supplemented with different level of chromium methionine under heat stress conditions. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 25(2): 256-260. DOI: 10.5713/ajas.2011.11217
El-Kholy MS, El-Hindawy MM, Alagawany M, Abd El-Hack ME & El-Sayed S. 2017. Dietary supplementation of chromium can alleviate negative impacts of heat stress on performance, carcass yield and some blood hematology and chemistry indices of growing Japanese quail. Biological Trace Element Research, 179: 148-157. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-017-0936-z
Emami A, Ganjkhanlou M & Zali A. 2015. Effects of Cr methionine on glucose metabolism, plasma metabolites, meat lipid peroxidation, and tissue chromium in Mahabadi goat kids. Biological Trace Element Research, 164(1): 50-57. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-014-0190-6
Folch J, Lees M & Stanley GS. 1957. A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipides from animal tissues. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 226(1): 497-509.
Ghazi S, Habibian M, Moeini MM & Abdolmohammadi A. 2012. Effects of different levels of organic and inorganic chromium on growth performance and immunocompetence of broilers under heat stress. Biological Trace Element Research 146:309–317. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-011-9260-1
Golrokh AJ, Bouyeh M, Seidavi A, van den Hoven R, Laudadio V, & Tufarelli V. 2016. Effect of different dietary levels of atorvastatin and L-carnitine on performance, carcass characteristics and plasma constitutes of broiler chickens. The Journal of Poultry Science 53(3):201-207. DOI: 10.2141/jpsa.0150184
Gursoy U. 2000. Chromium in broiler diets. Feed International 4: 24-26.
Horváth M & Babinszky L. 2018. Impact of selected antioxidant vitamins (Vitamin A, E and C) and micro minerals (Zn, Se) on the antioxidant status and performance under high environmental temperature in poultry. A review, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A — Animal Science, 68(3): 152-160. DOI: 10.1080/09064702.2019.1611913
Huang Y, Yang J, Xiao F, Lloyd K & Lin X. 2016. Effects of supplemental chromium source and concentration on growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of broilers under heat stress conditions. Biological Trace Element Research, 170: 216-223.DOI: 10.1007/s12011-015-0443-z
Jackson AR, Powell S, Johnston S, Shelton JL, Bidner TD, Valdez FR & Southern LL. 2008. The effect of chromium propionate on growth performance and carcass traits in broilers. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 17(4):476–481. DOI: 10.3382/japr.2008-00031
Jain SK, Kannan K, Lim G, Matthew-Greer J, McVie R & Bocchini JA. 2003. Elevated blood interleukin-6 levels in hyperketonemic type 1 diabetic patients and secretion by acetoacetate-treated cultured U937 monocytes. Diabetes Care, 26(7): 2139–2143. DOI: 10.2337/diacare.26.7.2139
Kani MM. 2015. The effects of different sources of organic and inorganic chromium on blood parameters of broiler chickens. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(28): 1-7. DOI: 10.17485/ijst/2015/v8i28/82778
Khan RU, Naz, S, Nikousefat Z, Selvaggi M, Laudadio V & Tufarelli V. 2012. Effect of ascorbic acid in heat-stressed poultry. World's Poultry Science Journal, 68(3): 477-490. DOI: 10.1017/S004393391200058X
Kim NK, Lim JH, Song MJ, Kim OH, Park BY, Kim MJ, Hwang IH & Lee CS. 2007. Developmental proteomic profiling of porcine skeletal muscle during postnatal development. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 20(10): 1612–1617. DOI: 10.5713/ajas.2007.1612 
Komprda T, Zelenka J, Bakaj P, Kladroba D, Blazkova E & Fajmonova E. 2003. Cholesterol and fatty acid content in meat of turkeys fed diets with sunflower, linseed or fish oil. Archiv fur Geflugelkunde, 67(2):65-75.
Li NH, Zhu PP, Niu FX, Shi CL, Hughes GX & Huang RH. 2013. Effects of dietary chromium methionine on growth performance, carcass composition, meat colour and expression of the colour-related gene myoglobin of growing-finishing pigs. Asian Australian Journal of Animal Science, 26(7): 1021-1029. DOI: 10.5713/ajas.2013.13012
Lien TF, Horng YM & Yang KH. 1999. Performance, serum characteristics, carcass traits and lipid metabolism of broilers as affected by supplement of chromium picolinate. British Poultry Science, 40(3): 357-363. DOI: 10.1080/00071669987458
Madamanchi NR, Vendrov A, & Runge MS. 2005. Oxidative stress and vascular disease. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 25(1): 29-38. DOI: 10.1161/01.ATV.0000150649.39934.13
Mir NA, Tyagi PK, Biswas AK, Tyagi PK, Mandal AB, Sheikh SA, Deo C, Sharma D, & Verma AK. 2017. Impact of feeding chromium supplemented flaxseed based diet on fatty acid profile, oxidative stability and other functional properties of broiler chicken meat. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 54(12): 3899-3907. DOI: 10.1007/s13197-017-2846-7
Mirfendereski E & Jahanian R. 2015. Effects of dietary organic chromium and vitamin C supplementation on performance, immune responses, blood metabolites and stress status of laying hens subjected to high stocking density. Poultry Science, 94(2): 281-288. DOI: 10.3382/ps/peu074
Moeini MM, Bahrami A, Ghazi S & Targhibi MR. 2011. The effect of different levels of organic and inorganic chromium supplementation on production performance, carcass traits and some blood parameters of broiler chicken under heat stress condition. Biological Trace Element Research, 144: 715-724. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-011-9116-8
Munck A, Guyre PM & Holbrook NJ. 1984. Physiological functions of glucocorticoids in stress and their relation to pharmacological actions. Endocrine reviews, 5(1): 25-44. DOI: 10.1210/edrv-5-1-25
National Research Council (NRC). 1994. Nutrient requirements of Poultry. 9th rev. ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
Ocak N, Erener G, Burakak F, Sungu M, Altop A & Ozmen A. 2008. Performance of broilers fed diets supplemented with dry peppermint (Menthapiperita L.) or thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) leaves as growth promoter source. Czech Journal of Animal Science, 53(4): 169-175. DOI:  10.17221/373-CJAS
Oviedo-Rondon, EO, Leandro NM, Ali R, Koci M, Moraes V & Brake J. 2013. Broiler breeder feeding programs and trace minerals on maternal antibody transfer and broiler humoral immune response1. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 22(3): 499-510. DOI: 10.3382/japr.2012-00708
Pan YZ, Wu SG, Dai HC, Zhang, HJ, Yue HY & Qi GH. 2013. Solexa sequencing of microRNAs on chromium metabolism in broiler chicks. Lifestyle Genomics, 6(3): 137-153. DOI: 10.1159/000353703
Pechova A & Pavlata L. 2007. Chromium as an essential nutrient: a review. Veterinarni Medicina-Praha 52(1): 1-18. DOI: 10.17221/2010-VETMED
Pourhossein Z, Qotbi AAA, Seidavi A, Laudadio V, Centoducati G & Tufarelli V. 2015. Effect of different levels of dietary sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) peel extract on humoral immune system responses in broiler chickens. Animal Science Journal, 86(1): 105-110. DOI: 10.1111/asj.12250
Rajalekshmi M, Sugumar C, Chirakkal H & Rama Rao SV. 2014. Influence of chromium propionate on the carcass characteristics and immune response of commercial broiler birds under normal rearing conditions. Poultry Science, 93(3): 574-580. DOI: 10.3382/ps.2013-03373
Rama Rao SV, Raju MVLN, Panda AK, Poonam NS, Krishna Murthy O & Shyam Sunder G. 2012. Effect of dietary supplementation of organic chromium on performance, carcass traits, oxidative parameters and immune responses in commercial broiler chickens. Biological Trace Element Research, 147(1-3): 135-141. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-011-9314-4
Rosebrough RW & Steele NC. 1981. Effects of supplemental dietary chromium or nicotic acid on carbohydrate metabolism during basal, starvation and refeeding periods in poults. Poultry Science Journal, 60(2): 407-417. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0600407
Roth JA & Kaeberle ML. 1982. Effect of glucocorticoids on the bovine immune system. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 180(8): 894-901.
Rouhalamini SM, Salarmoini M & Asadi-Karam G. 2014. Effect of zinc sulfate and organic chromium supplementation on the performance, meat quality and immune response of Japanese quails under heat stress conditions. Poultry Science Journal, 2(2): 165-181. DOI: 10.22069/PSJ.2014.1964
Safwat AM, Elnaggar AS, Elghalid OA & ELTahawy WS. 2020. Effects of different sourcesand levels of dietary chromium supplementation on performance of broiler chicks. Animal Science Journal, 91(1): e13448. DOI: 10.1111/asj.13448
Sahin N, Akdemir F, Tuzcu M, Hayirli A, Smith MO & Sahin K. 2010. Effects of supplemental chromium sources and levels on performance, lipid peroxidation and proinflammatory markers in heat-stressed quails. Animal feed science and technology, 159(3-4): 143-149. DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2010.06.004
Sahin, N, Sahin, K, Onderci M, Ozcelik M & Smith MO. 2003. In vivo antioxidant properties of vitamin E and chromium in cold-stressed Japanese quails. Archives of Animal Nutrition, 57: 207–215.DOI: 10.1080/0003942031000136639
Sahin N, Hayirli A, Orhan C, Tuzcu M, Akdemir F, Komorowski JR & Sahin K. 2017. Effects of the supplemental chromium form on performance and oxidative stress in broilers exposed to heat stress. Poultry Science, 96(12): 4317-4324. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pex249
Seidavi A, Asadpour L, Dadashbeiki M & Payan-Carreira R. 2014. Effects of dietary fish oil and green tea powder supplementation on broiler chickens’ immunity. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae, 42(1): 1-13.
Shabani S, Seidavi A, Asadpour L & Corazzin M. 2015. Effects of physical form of diet and intensity and duration of feed restriction on the growth performance, blood variables, microbial flora, immunity, and carcass and organ characteristics of broiler chickens. Livestock Science, 180: 150-157. DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2015.07.006
Silva VA, Clemente AH, Nogueira BR, deCarvalho AC, de Freitas LF, Ramos AD & Bertechini AG. 2019. Supplementation of selenomethionine at different ages and levels on meat quality, tissue deposition, and selenium retention in broiler chickens. Poultry Science, 98(5): 2150-2159. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pey569
Sirirat N, Lu JJ, Hung ATY & Lien TF. 2013. Effect of different levels of nanoparticles chromium picolinate supplementation on performance, egg quality, mineral retention, and tissues minerals accumulation in layer chickens. Journal of Agricultural Science, 5(2): 150-159. DOI: 10.5539/jas.v5n2p150
Souza MG, Oliveira RFM, Donzele JL, Maia APA, Balbino EM, Oliveira WP (2011) Use of vitamins C and E on ration for broilers kept in high temperature environment. Revista Brasileira Zootecnia 40: 2192-2198. DOI: 10.1590/S1516-35982011001000019
Spears JW, Lloyd KE, Pickworth CA, Huang YL, Krafka K, Hyda J & Grimes JL. 2019. Chromium propionate in broilers: human food and broiler safety. Poultry Science, 98(12): 6579–6585. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pez444
SPSS. 2012. SPSS Base 7.5 for Windows. SPSS, Chicago, IL.
Sterten H, Froystein T, Oksbjerg N, Rehnberg AC, Ekker AS & Kjos NP. 2009. Effects of fasting prior to slaughter on technological and sensory properties of the loin muscle (M. longissimus dorsi) of pigs. Meat Science, 83(3): 351-357. DOI: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2009.06.002
Światkiewicz S, Arczewska-Wlosek A & Jozefiak D. 2014. The efficacy of organic minerals in poultry nutrition: review and implications of recent studies. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 70)3(: 475-486. DOI: 10.1017/S0043933914000531
Taha NM, Mandour AA & Habeila OH. 2013. Biochemical effect of chromium element on lipid profile of broilers. Alexandria Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 39: 74-81.
Tavakoli M, Bouyeh M, Seidavi AR. 2021. Effects of dietary vitamin C supplementation on growth performance, carcass characteristics, gastrointestinal organs, liver enzymes, abdominal fats, immune response, and cecum microflora of broiler chickens. Journal of Animal Science Research, 31(1): 65-78.
Toghyani M, Toghyani M, Shivazad M, Gheisari A & Bahadoran R. 2012. Chromium supplementation can alleviate the negative effects of heat stress on growth performance, carcass traits, and meat lipid oxidation of broiler chicks without any adverse impacts on blood constituents. Biological Trace Element Research, 146(2): 171-180. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-011-9234-3
Toghyani M, Zarkesh S, Shivazad M & Gheisari A. 2007. Immune responses of broiler chicks fed chromium picolinate in heat stress condition. The Journal of Poultry Science, 44(3): 330–334. DOI: 10.2141/jpsa.44.330
Untea AE, Panaite TD, Dragomir C, Ropota M, Olteanu M & Varzaru I. 2019. Effect of dietary chromium supplementation on meat nutritional quality and antioxidant status from broilers fed with Camelina-meal-supplemented diets. Animal, 13(12): 2939-2947. DOI: 10.1017/S1751731119001162
Uyanik F, Kaya S, Kolsuz AH, Eren M & Sahin N. 2002. The effect of chromium supplementation on egg production, egg quality and some serum parameters in laying hens. Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, 26(2): 379-387.
Vieira SL. 2008. Chelated minerals for poultry. Rev. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science, 10(2): 73-79. DOI: 10.1590/S1516-635X2008000200001 
Vincent JB. 2010. Chromium: celebrating 50 years as an essential element? Dalton Transactions, 39(16): 3787-3794.
Wang L, Piao XL, Kim SW, Piao XS, Shen YB & Lee HS. 2008. Effects of Forsythia suspensa extract on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and antioxidant activities in broiler chickens under high ambient temperature. Poultry Science, 87(7): 1287-1294. DOI: 10.3382/ps.2008-00023
 Wang X, Lin H & Gu Y. 2012. Multiple roles of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid against proliferation diseases. Lipids in health and disease, 11-25. DOI: 10.1186/1476-511X-11-25
Yan F, Kersey JH & Waldroup PW. 2001. Phosphorus requirements of broiler chicks three to six weeks of age as influenced by phytase supplementation. Poultry Science, 80(4): 455-459. DOI: 10.1093/ps/80.4.455
Yang J, Qian K, Zhang W, Xu Y & Wu Y. 2016. Effects of chromium-enriched bacillus subtilis KT260179 supplementation on chicken growth performance, plasma lipid parameters, tissue chromium levels, cecal bacterial composition and breast meat quality. Lipids in Health and Disease, 15: 1-9. DOI: 10.1186/s12944-016-0355-8
Zhao J, Shirley RB, Vazquez-Anon M, Dibner JJ, Richards JD, Fisher P, Hampton T, Christensen KD, Allard JP & Giesen AF. 2010. Effects of chelated trace minerals on growth performance, breast meat yield, and footpad health in commercial meat broilers. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 19(4): 365–372. DOI: 10.3382/japr.2009-00020